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Submission + - India rejects Microsoft OOXML in favor of ODF (

slashthedot writes: "In a major setback to Microsoft's effort to further its OOXML standard, India on Thursday gave Microsoft a thumbs-down in the war of standards for office documents. In a tense meeting at Delhi's Manak Bhawan, the 21-member technical committee decided that India will vote a 'no' against Microsoft's Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in Geneva on September 2.
The Open Document Format (ODF) alliance — enjoying widespread support from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Google — were in a jubilant mood having succeeded in stalling OOXML from being accepted as a standard in India.
Microsoft,however, is still hopeful that India's 'No' vote will become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO.
The voting was a hot issue in India for some weeks, with most of the institutions, including IITs and IIMs, supporting ODF, and only a few favoring OOXML as a choice. During the days before voting, there were reports that both the parties were offering director-level jobs at 200% hike to each other to help switch votes in their favour."


Submission + - eBay pulls all ads off Google adwords US network (

slashthedot writes: "In another instance of deteriorating relations between the two companies, eBay last week pulled all its ads from Google Adwords US network. It happened after Google tried to lure eBay merchants into using its Checkout online transaction system that competes with eBay's PayPal. Google announced it would throw a party in Boston last Thursday evening, encouraging eBay merchants to gather at the Old South Meeting House, where in 1773 mass protest meetings were held, leading to the Boston Tea Party. eBay found Google's move to be in bad taste and, at some point after the party was announced, took the drastic measure of pulling all of its ads from Google's AdWords U.S. network. Google had to cancel the party after its executives apparently determined they had gone too far. mand=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9024659&pageNumber =1"


Submission + - Yahoo says Beijing likely blocking photo site (

slashthedot writes: "In another instance of censorship against websites about anything anti-establishement in China, Flickr, popular among a growing class of digital photo enthusiasts in the world's second-largest Internet market, has not shown photos to users in mainland China since last week, amid rumors Beijing took action after images of the Tiananmen massacre in early June 1989 were posted.
"It is our understanding that Flickr users in China are not able to see images on Flickr, and we have confirmed that this is not a technical issue on our end," a spokeswoman for Yahoo Hong Kong said in an email in response to a Reuters inquiry."


Submission + - Wireless Electricity or Witricity demonstrated (

slashthedot writes: "Physicists at MIT have have successfully lit a 60-watt light bulb by transferring energy through the air from one specially designed copper coil to the bulb, which was attached to a second coil seven feet away.
Physicists have known for more than a century that a moving magnetic field produces an electric field and vice versa in an effect called electromagnetic induction, which makes motors turn and allows your, say, electric toothbrush to recharge when placed on its base station.
The ultimate goal: to shrink the coils and increase the distance between them so that a single base station emitting "WiTricity," as the inventors refer to the effect, could power a roomful of rechargeable gadgets, each containing its own small coil.
"This is an idea that is based on principles that are more than 100 years old,"says theoretical physicist Douglas Stone of Yale University, who was not part of the study."


Submission + - Asus stuns Computex with $189 laptop (

slashthedot writes: "As if Intel's cheap laptop release last month wasn't enough, Asus sprang a surprise during Intel's Computex keynote today with the announcement of a $189 laptop.
The notebook uses a custom-written Linux operating system, measures roughly 120 x 100 x 30mm (WDH) and weighs only 900g, boots in 15 seconds from its solid-state hard disk. Asus chairman Jonney Shih claimed the 3ePC would be available in all areas of the world, not only developing nations. utex-with-100-laptop.html"


Submission + - Microsoft hires senior Linux engineer (

slashthedot writes: "Continuing its pressure on Linux, Microsoft has lured away the director of technology, "Tom Hanrahan" from Linux Foundation and have made him Microsoft's director of Linux Inter-operability.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Linux-Watch that "Tom will head up the new Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab, announced last fall as part of Microsoft and Novell's historic agreement"
Hanrahan began his Linux career at IBM's Linux Technology Center in Beaverton, Oregon, where he served as senior program manager in charge of software development and testing. In this position, he oversaw the work of many of IBM's leading Linux kernel developers and sub-maintainers. In September of 2003, he moved to the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) where he served as director of Linux engineering. After the OSDL merged with the Free Standards Group to form the Linux Foundation, he continued to serve in the role of director of Linux engineering."

Operating Systems

Submission + - Sun's Schwartz finally confirms ZFS in Leopard

slashthedot writes: "Confirming the months long rumor of ZFS from Solaris being ported to Leopard, Schwartz said Apple will announce it in its forthcoming world wide developer conference on the 11th of June. Mac OS X would thus become the second Operating system to port the ZFS filesystem that has been touted as "the last name in filesystems" by Sun. The first one to port it was FreeBSD.
ZFS is a 128-bit filesystem + volume manager that makes an admin's life easier by combining the best of Volume Manager and Filesystem.
"In fact, this week you'll see that Apple is announcing at their Worldwide Developer Conference that ZFS has become the file system in Mac OS 10," Schwartz said. g_zfs_in_leopard/"

Submission + - Boygs with longer ring fingers are better at Math (

slashthedot writes: "While it is well known that boys have longer ring fingers as compared to index fingers, now some researchers say that the longer the ring finger ratio to index finger, the better boys are at math. In girls, the shorter the ring finger to index finger ratio, the better is their verbal skills.

"Boys with the longest ring fingers relative to their index fingers tend to excel in math, according to a new study. In girls, shorter ring fingers predict better verbal skills. The link, according to the researchers, is that testosterone levels in the womb influence both finger length and brain development."

PS: This is the first story I found a perfect fit for the "Index" section."


Submission + - Google's DoubleClick deal under US scrutiny

slashthedot writes: "The Federal Trade Commission has opened a preliminary antitrust investigation into Google's planned $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick.

It was decided last week that the Federal Trade Commission instead of the Justice Department would conduct the review.

In the complaint, the groups noted that Google collects the search histories of its users, while DoubleClick tracks what Web sites people visit. The merger, according to their complaint, would "give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world."
URL: itrust.html?ex=1338091200&en=95699bd4ea8a1b59&ei=5 088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu vs Vista

slashthedot writes: "InformationWeek compared Ubuntu's latest release with Vista. The review found Ubuntu better during Installation, and its word processing was better with builtin OpenOffice, while Vista lead in Hardware support and search functionalities.
There was a tie in Multimedia, Image editing, Backup/Restore something Ubuntu should be commended for.

Overall, the reviewer was pretty impressed with Ubuntu. "To be honest, there's a lot about Ubuntu that impresses me. The out-of-the-box software available with the OS is well-chosen, and the Ubuntu community folks have made a good effort to support the vast majority of the things people do with their PCs. The fact that Ubuntu is free is of course another big motivator"

"But there's at least as much about Ubuntu that I find disheartening or frustrating. There are still too many places where you have to drop to a command line and type in a fairly unintuitive set of commands to get something done, or edit a config file, or — worst of all — download and compile source code" .jhtml?articleID=199201179&pgno=1&queryText="

Submission + - CERN Collider ready; get ready for data deluge

slashthedot writes: "The world's largest science experiment, a physics experiment designed to determine the nature of matter, will produce a mountain of data. And because the world's physicists cannot move to the mountain, an army of computer research scientists is preparing to move the mountain to the physicists.
At universities across the United States and at other institutions around the world, teams of computer research scientists and physicists are preparing for the largest physics experiment ever.
The collider will give protons a pop hoping to catch a glimpse of the Big Bang, or at least the subatomic particles that are thought to have last been seen at the big event 10 billion to 15 billion years ago that led to the formation of the universe. The CERN collider will begin producing data in November, and from the trillions of collisions of protons it will generate 15 petabytes of data per year.
By comparison, 15 petabytes would be the equivalent of all of the information in all of the university libraries in the United States seven times over. It would be the equivalent of 22 Internets, or more than 1,000 Libraries of Congress. And there is no search function.
More at:"

Submission + - Indian retailers raided by Microsoft

slashthedot writes: "Microsoft caught some Indian retailers selling pirated copies by sending a dummy customer asking for a copy of Windows to be installed on their PC. The retailers say Microsoft products are too highly priced for Indian market, so many people won't be interested in buying original copies at that price. They even go on to say they are promoting MS software in this way.
One retailer was heard saying:
"Since we are are not charging anything extra for installing the software, it means that we are actually not trading in pirated software. For us this is just a sewa (selfless act) that we are offering to our customers. Besides, the pricing of their operating systems is way too high for the Indian markets."

More here "

Submission + - Open standard for biometric passwords

A student from the University of Amsterdam: writes: "Students of the University of Amsterdam are doing research to a make a 'weak' password 'strong'. This will be done by analyzing and registering the typing behaviour of individual users and add the gathered information to the password. The students comment: "Our goal is to create an open standard for stronger passwords by adding biometric properties of typing behaviour." Because there needs to be a lot data to analyze biometric properties of typing behaviour, they created a test at After doing this test there will be a description of the typing behaviour in comparison with the typing behaviour of another person. The students hope that there will be a lot of individuals (as well IT as non-IT) that do the test so that they can gather enough data. For more information —"

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